Although breastfeeding is natural, it’s still a learned skill.
And, as with most new skills, it can take some time to master.
Some breastfeeding mothers face few, if any, difficulties.
However, for many mothers, breastfeeding can come with many challenges.
Painful nipples, breast engorgement, mastitis, and problems with attachment are just a few of the common breastfeeding problems mothers can encounter. And along with these challenges can come feelings of self-doubt and failure.
Of course, no mother is ever a failure!
6 Tips To Help You Overcome Breastfeeding Challenges
Breastfeeding can be hard, so in an effort to support you, here are 6 tips to help you through your breastfeeding challenges.
Tip #1: Call A Breastfeeding Support Organisation
Breastfeeding support organisations such as the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) are there to support you. Such organisations have trained breastfeeding counsellors available to chat with you about your breastfeeding challenges. For example, ABA has a national breastfeeding helpline, available 24 hours, 7 days per week. ABA also has a live chat service to help you find the breastfeeding information you need; it’s available on their website.
Tip #2: Go To A Breastfeeding Support Organisation Local Support Group
Breastfeeding support organisations, such as ABA, also run local support groups where you can receive face-to-face support from trained volunteers. At the meetings you will also meet other mothers who might have experienced, or be experiencing, struggles similar to yours. You might also be lucky enough to score a well-deserved cuppa and cake!
Tip #3: Seek Help From An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are the gold-standard when it comes to the provision of breastfeeding assistance. IBCLCs work in hospitals, for local city councils, or privately. If you live in Australia you can find a private IBCLC here. If you are from somewhere else around the world, look here to find an IBCLC near you.
Tip #4: Look After Yourself
Taking care of a baby can be an emotional rollercoaster ride. It can feel like this even when breastfeeding is going well, let alone when it isn’t!
Because looking after a baby takes up so much time, it can feel as though you’ve no time left for you. However, you are important, and your wellbeing is also a priority, because if you aren’t being taken care of sufficiently, it’s more difficult for you to take care of your baby.
Regular exercise, healthy food, plenty of fluids, and sleep are all important factors in taking care of yourself. But managing all these things isn’t always easy when you are a mother, especially with young children. Enlisting the help of friends and family is really important. They are there to support you; you just need to ask.
Tip #5: You Are A Wonderful Mother No Matter What
Every mother’s breastfeeding journey is different. No matter what happens with breastfeeding, remember that being a mother is so much more than about how you feed your baby.
If breastfeeding doesn’t work out but you aren’t ready for your breastfeeding journey to end, it can be heartbreaking and even depressing. As you grieve your loss, it can help to seek support from a breastfeeding counsellor or grief counsellor.
No matter how long you breastfed for – whether it was for one day, one week, one month or one year – it’s something to be proud of.
Also, it’s important to remember that sometimes individual circumstances override population level risks. Doing what’s best for you and your family is what counts.
#6: Read More Of BellyBelly’s Breastfeeding Articles
BellyBelly has hundreds of breastfeeding articles, jam packed with evidence-based breastfeeding information. Use the search function in the top right hand corner of the screen to type in what you are looking for; you’re bound to find the information you need.
BellyBelly also has a dedicated breastfeeding page on Facebook – you can give it a like here.
It can be tricky to get the hang of breastfeeding. With the right support and information, most mothers are able to overcome their breastfeeding struggles and reach their breastfeeding goals. It’s always important to take your own individual circumstances into account when it comes to feeding your baby.